12 Quotes About The Government Shutdown

The blame game

  • Share
  • Read Later
Brendan Smialowski / AFP / Getty Images

A view of a hall on Capitol Hill Sept. 29, 2013 in Washington.

The federal government shut down on Tuesday for the first time in 17 years. Here’s what Washington politicians are saying.

1. “They’ve lost their minds.”

-Harry Reid, Democratic Senate Majority Leader, referring to House Republicans

2. “You know with a bully you cannot let them slap you around, because they slap you around today, they slap you five or six times tomorrow. We are not going to be bullied.”


3. “Lemmings with suicide vests. It’s kind of an insult to lemmings to call them lemmings, so they’d have to be more than just a lemming, because jumping to your death is not enough.”

-California Republican Rep. Devin Nunes describing conservatives in his own party

4. “What was I elected for? … This is a matter of core principle.”

-Texas Republican Rep. John Culberson

5. “It’s very hard from a distance to figure out who has lost their minds. One party, the other party, all of us, the president.”

-Democratic Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill

6. “At times, you must act on principle and not ask what cost, what are the chances of success.”

-New Mexico Republican Rep. Steve Pearce

7. “Keeping the people’s government open is not a concession to me. Keeping vital service running and hundreds of thousands of Americans on the job is not something you ‘give’ to the other side.”

-President Barack Obama

8. “None of this is fair to you. And should it continue, it will make it more difficult to keep attracting the kind of driven, patriotic, idealist Americans to public service that our citizens deserved and that our system of self-government demands.”

-Obama, in a letter to government employees

9. “I would say to the president: This is not about me. This is not about Republicans here in Congress. It’s about fairness for the America people.”

-Republican House Speaker John Boehner

10. “I campaigned in 2012 all over this country for months: ‘Repeal and replace Obamacare.’ That was not the mandate of the voters. If they wanted to repeal Obamacare, the 2012 election would have been probably significantly different.”

-Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain

Senator John McCain

11. “The bottom line is very simple. You negotiate on this, they will up the ante for the debt ceiling.”

-New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer

12. “What we see happening with this Republican strategy is a willingness to threaten the very foundation of the world’s greatest economic power. That is a very risky proposition.”

-White House Press Secretary Jay Carney